This is an interesting little film. It sort of defies convention while paying homage to the very films (and their makers) that created said conventions. It Follows is thick with dread, letting the audience wring their hands or clutch the armrests for nearly the whole of it’s 100 minutes. This is more my kind of horror. I want the atmosphere, the dread. I’m sold.
So, nineteen year old Jay (an excellent Maika Monroe) learns that, by having sex with Hugh, the guy she was dating, that he has passed on to her a…curse, or something. She will now be followed by…something, someone. It may look like someone she knows, or a total stranger, but it will persist until she has sex with someone else, so that she passes it onto the next person, and so on. In this idea, it seems like the It Follows is just a cautionary tale about how sex can be dangerous and you can catch a disease from someone. But the narrative never explicitly says anything of the sort. In fact, they don’t really explain it much at all. That’s part of what makes it scary, that fear of the unknown.
So much of It Follows feels like an old John Carpenter film like the original Halloween. The electronic soundtrack is right out of the 80’s, and the cinematography is reminiscent of, say, Blue Velvet, with its’ slow lingering on empty suburban streets, or drifting toward windows, tension building all the while.
The whole film has this almost dreamlike quality to it, again, the cinematography heavily responsible for that. Other than one gory shot in its’ opening scene, there is really little blood at all in It Follows. Director David Robert Mitchell cashes in on a solid, consistent sense of dread and tension. It is thoroughly sufficient to keep you glued to the screen. This is the kind of film that makes me want to watch for this director’s next project.
It Follows is a great, chilling, horror film, and a horror film of my favorite sort. You don’t need to barrage me with gratuitous, graphic gore. You just need to set the right mood, and It Follows surely does that. This is a solid four kittenhands. If you like moody, creepy, white-knuckle horror, this film is for you.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, happy to see an above-average horror film that doesn’t pander to unnecessary blood and guts for a change.